7 Ways to Rock Networking Events in 2015
Do you love to attend networking events? Hate them? Know you need to go but have been putting them off? January is a great time to start looking for the perfect group to attend. Networking should be a part of your regular monthly marketing activities for several reasons.
- First, it’s a great way to combat the isolation of being a small business owner.
- Second, you can find potential clients and build referral partnerships by meeting new people in the community.
- And finally, it’s one of the quickest ways to grow your business and establish yourself as a local expert, especially if you are just starting out.
What type of networking events should you attend?
In the context of this article, I am referring to local networking events like Meetup groups, Chambers of Commerce, industry specific groups, organizations like the Association for Women in Communication, Leads Club, EWomen Network or other local chapters of national groups.
Attending a networking event with a strategy in place can make it feel less intimidating and will make sure your time is well spent.
Here are 7 ways to rock your local networking events in 2015
#1 – Jot notes on the back of every business card you collect, then follow up with a quick email when you get home.
#2 Set clear goals before you go. It will help you stay focused even during an overwhelming weekend event. An example of a goal might be to meet 3 new people each time you go or to sit in a different spot each time.
#3 It’s okay to feel shy, but don’t let it stop you from introducing yourself to other attendees and speakers. The more often you practice this, the easier it will get to introduce yourself.
#4 If you’re uncomfortable speaking to strangers, consider joining Toastmasters to build your confidence levels before you head out for a big event. Toastmaster can help you with more than just public speaking, it’s also great for networking!
#5 Perfect your “elevator speech” – a 15 to 30 second second statement that tells exactly what you do and for whom. Practicing your pitch ahead of time will give you more confidence and make you look like the expert you are!
#6 Approach networking as an opportunity to help others, rather than to be helped, and you’ll finish the event with a greater sense of accomplishment.
#7 Be memorable. Wear a signature color or distinctive jewelry to trigger the memories of those you meet. This is my favorite tip, be yourself and don’t be afraid to be better dressed than everyone else in the room or just dressed different. I like funky clothes and chunky jewelry. I am not usually a blue business suit kind of girl. What’s your personal style and how can you present it?
Share your favorite networking tips or biggest fears in the comments below! Come back tomorrow for seven more tips on how to rock your networking events in 2015.
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